Monday, October 17, 2011

487. Goose Island Fleur 2010 & 2011

Somewhere along the way, we pulled out bottles of Goose Island’s Fleur from 2010 and 2011 and drank and compared them. I’m not sure exactly when, but I have discovered both the notes and photographic evidence to prove it—how’s that for your classic forensic evidence? I even think we invited Jeff and Jeffrey over to enjoy the fun, but at this point, who knows? Either or you two care to validate my spotty and shoddy memory? We’ll just call this our beer for “today,” and move on—after all, if you can’t learn to roll with it, you’re gonna have a painful, shitty life. Take that, Albert Camus—you can suck my existential dread. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. Anyway, this is our fourth beer from Goose Island. Previous ventures include Bourbon County Stout 2009, Summertime, and Honker's Ale. And in a shocking new development, future ventures will include Sophie and maybe even Matilda. That’s right—I can predict the future when we’ve got bottles awaiting us in the fridge. Does that make me a beer tease?

Fleur 2010: Fleur 2010 pours a clear tan with a thin white head; the nose is sweet candy mixed with floral and hibiscus. Flavors start dry, tart, and floral before moving into gentle sweetness and floral hibiscus in the middle. The finish is clean and even; there is a tart tang than increases as the beer warms. While the mouthfeel is gentle and delicate, the carbonation is sharper; yet both balance well in playing across the palate. My rudimentary descriptions aside, I can safely assert that the last year has been very, very good to this beer—it kicks the crap out of 2011.

Fleur 2011: Surprisingly, this beer is more carbonated than the 2010, with a darker red and pink coloring to the beer. The nose mixes caramel and candy; flavors start with floral and candy components, giving way to caramel in the middle with a muted candy sweetness, and a non-descript finish. This beer is not nearly as clean or as dry as the 2010. There is more body in the mouthfeel; however, while creating a more rounded feel on the palate, this same effect paradoxically limits the most subtle and enjoyable characteristics of the 2010. My advice: wait. This beer is an easy lesson in cellaring—it’s cheap, and you can buy another bottle next year to host your own comparisons. Just don’t misplace the notes...

From the Goose island website: “A Belgian style pale ale blended with hibiscus and kombucha tea, Fleur is a beautiful, rose-colored ale with an aroma of strawberries and hibiscus flowers. Her flavor balance starts with a hint of sweet, ripe berry and finishes tart.”

ABV: 5.2%
IBU: 32
Hops: Super Styrian, Styrian Golding, Saaz
Malt: 2-row, Caramel, Sugar

Does anyone besides me find the use of the pronoun “her” to describe a beer slightly creepy?


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